Chevy Volt outsells Nissan Leaf better than 2-1 in February 2012
The Chevrolet Volt had a great end to 2011, beating the Nissan Leaf in sales through October, November and December but they weren’t able to keep that momentum going in January 2012, as the Leaf bested the Volt by a margin of 676 to 603. However, with the sales figures for February being announced, the Chevy Volt has claimed the second month of 2012 by a massive margin of 545 units – selling more than double the number of Leafs in February.
February 2012 was a great month for the Chevrolet Volt with 1,023 units sold after a very slow January in which Chevy moved just 603 examples of their extended range electric vehicle. The slow sales in January were certainly not the way that GM had hoped to start 2012 with the Volt after selling over a thousand units each of the final three months of 2011 but with 1,023 Volts sold in February, Chevy is back on track for the New Year. After the strong second month of 2012, the Volt has a lead of almost 500 units over the Leaf for the year with 1,626 Volts sold to Nissan’s 1,154 Leaf vehicles sold.
The Nissan Leaf had a surprisingly slow month in February with just 478 units delivered being one of the slowest months for the electric Nissan since early in 2011. The Leaf has struggled a bit since last fall, with the Volt being over 1,000 units every month except for January while the Leaf hasn’t sold over 1,000 units since last September when they delivered 1,031 versions of their super-green hatchback. While this downturn in sales certainly isn’t what Nissan wants to see, the Nissan Leaf will become available across the entire United States this month so there could be an influx of Leaf sales over the next few months.
General Motors has been increasing production of the Chevrolet Volt, including an expansion at the automaker’s Detroit Hamtramck plant and the addition of a second shift so things should (in theory) continue to improve throughout the year. In addition to the Volt, the Opel Ampera will soon increase the volume of vehicles sold with GM’s Voltec drivetrain and there could be more on the way – at least in other markets. This past weekend, I saw what looked like a black Chevy Volt driving through Milford Michigan (the home of GM’s proving grounds) but the car was wearing the distinctive Vauxhall badging so perhaps that European brand will soon have a Voltec powered vehicle of its own.
Nissan is spreading around their technology as well, having used the Detroit Auto Show to feature the upcoming eNV200 – a vehicle aimed at taxi cab use that uses the NV200 chassis and a modified version of the Leaf drivetrain.